Why hiring a good virtual assistant is hard

Hiring a virtual assistant could replace the need to make a more experienced but expensive hire at your startup. All you have to do is study a new job or role and then break down the tasks for a virtual assistant to take over.

Setting up a workflow for a virtual assistant is not the hardest part of working with a virtual assistant. The hardest part is finding a good virtual assistant to hire. Someone who will be able to understand your workflow, add to it, and fit in with the rest of your team.

You should have a genuine fear of making the wrong virtual assistant hire because if you are trying to save time by hiring one, the worst thing that could happen is wasting time working with the wrong virtual assistant. Don’t worry, you are not alone. This article will share best practices to ensure you are hiring the right virtual assistant for your business.

What to look for in a virtual assistant

 A good virtual assistant is someone who is a fast typist (at least 40 wpm). You can test them with MonkeyType

·         They pay great attention to details

·         They have some operational experience

·         They are schedule oriented

·         They speak and write fluent English

Those are core traits that a good virtual assistant needs to have. If they are not present in someone that you are considering then you should look at the next candidate right away.

Why is finding a virtual assistant difficult?

Finding the right virtual assistant is challenging because many freelancers position themselves as virtual assistants. Upwork alone has hundreds of virtual assistants which does not necessarily mean any of them are worth hiring. People who are recruiting a virtual assistant often get puzzled by the search or near duped by freelancers who seem to be the right fit when they don’t meet the core requirements to be a virtual assistant.

The problem is that most popular freelancing websites do a poor job of filtering or vetting virtual assistant talent. For example, Upwork offers many freelancer certifications through freelancers but none of them focus on certifying virtual assistants. This causes saturation and confusion for people like you, the hiring client.

The trick to finding the right talent is to look on websites where they specialize in vetting and providing virtual assistant talent. Some of those options are Wingassistant, BruntWork, Dollar Talent or StaffScout. They specialize in providing virtual assistant talent. As a result of their niche focus, everyone they have on their virtual assistant roster is vetted for the core traits discussed earlier.

Finding the right virtual assistant is also about making sure that you can keep them on for a long time because there are great ‘economies of time’ to be enjoyed when you work with a virtual assistant for a long time. They will become more comfortable as well as discover opportunities and insights that are not on your radar.

Picking the right time to hire a virtual assistant

Sometimes virtual assistant hires do not go well because of poor timing on your part. Poor timing happens when you hire a virtual assistant but still haven’t figured out how you want them to impact your organization. You don’t know the tasks they’ll do or the key performance indicators you will be using to gauge their effectiveness working for you.

You have to be ready to onboard a virtual assistant and you should have a work plan that you are confident in as well as one you will stick to in the long run. It is also ok to have a plan that might be changed in the short term but the key point here is to be very aware that that’s the direction you will be taking before you make a virtual assistant hire.

We cannot stress the importance of being ready to hire a virtual assistant enough. Unfortunately, most people who have bad experiences working with a virtual assistant believe it’s the virtual assistant that was at fault. However, most hiring clients aren’t aware that they might be the cause of the poor working relationship due to their lack of clarity over what and how they want the virtual assistant to impact their business.

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